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Name The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Logo Image:IAEALogo.gif
Geographic Scope Global
Subject Focus Expertise Nuclear technology
Contact E-mail: Official.Mail@iaea.org
URL http://www.iaea.org
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The IAEA is the world´s center of cooperation in the nuclear field. It was set up as the world´s "Atoms for Peace" organization in 1957 within the United Nations family. The Agency works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies. IAEA works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies.

The IAEA Secretariat is headquartered at the Vienna International Centre in Vienna, Austria. Operational liaison and regional offices are located in Geneva, Switzerland; New York, USA; Toronto, Canada; and Tokyo, Japan. The IAEA runs or supports research centers and scientific laboratories in Vienna and Seibersdorf, Austria; Monaco; and Trieste, Italy.

Relationship with the UN: The IAEA reports annually to the UN General Assembly and, when appropriate, to the Security Council regarding non-compliance by States with their safeguards obligations as well as on matters relating to international peace and security.

The IAEA´s mission is guided by the interests and needs of Member States, strategic plans and the vision embodied in the IAEA Statute. Three main pillars - or areas of work - underpin the IAEA´s mission: Safety and Security; Science and Technology; and Safeguards and Verification. Largely, the IAEA works for the safe, secure and peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology. Its key roles contribute to international peace and security, and to the World's Millennium Goals for social, economic and environmental development. A big part of the IAEA's mandate is to set and promote the application of standards for protecting people and the environment from harmful radiation effects.

Water-specific Providing Member States with science-based information and technical skills to better understand and manage their water resources is the objective of the IAEA Water Resources Programme.

Key Resources

Nucleus: For Nuclear Knowledge and Information

Nucleus is the common access point to the IAEA's scientific, technical and regulatory information resources. It incorporates, and facilitates access to more than 100 IAEA databases, scientific and technical publications, and safety standards. A number of these information sources may be useful to water governance practitioners:

  • Global Network of Isotopes in Precipitation & Isotope Hydrology Information System (GNIP / ISOHIS) - The GNIP is an interesting tool for climatological (interpretation of paleorecords), atmospheric (validation of global circulation models) and hydrological (large regional and global scale water balances) studies. The ISOHIS database allows the gathering, storage and dissemination of isotope, chemical, hydrogeological and geographical data of water studies around the world. This database includes the Water Resources Programme Data.
  • Global Network of Isotopes in Rivers (GNIR) - The database is aimed at an improved understanding of stream-aquifer interactions in the river plains, impacts of climate changes on river runoff, and human impacts on river discharge with the use of isotope data.
  • Marine Information System (MARIS) - The IAEA's Marine Information System is a relational database, based on GIS (Geographical Information System), covering the distribution of radioactive and stable isotopes, and in the near future also other tracers (organic compounds, trace metals) in the marine environment.

Relevant Publications

IAEA is a major publisher in the nuclear field. Its scientific and technical publications cover over 15 subject areas. Selected publications relevant to water include:

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Work on the Ground

1. Water Resources Programme

Source:IAEA Website

Providing Member States with science-based information and technical skills to better understand and manage their water resources is the objective of the IAEA Water Resources Programme. Through its Water Resources Programme, the IAEA is one of the UN agencies responding to its Member States by providing science-based information and technical skills to improve understanding and management of their water resources. Specifically, this is achieved by adapting technology through coordinated research projects (CRPs) and building capacity to meet water resource challenges through technical cooperation projects.

The programme includes the following projects:

  • G.1. Isotope Methodologies for the Protection and Management of Surface Water, Groundwater and Geothermal Resources
    • Project G.1.01: Exchange of information, training and cooperation with international organizations in isotope hydrology.
    • Project G.1.02: Isotope methods for the assessment of groundwater sustainability
    • Project G.1.03: Development of isotope methodologies for water quality assessment and management
  • G.2. Reference Isotope Data and Analysis for Hydrological Applications
    • Recurrent Project G.2.01: Development of Member State capacity for isotope analysis of hydrological samples
    • Project G.2.02: Isotope methods for the study of water and carbon cycle dynamics in the atmosphere and biosphere
    • Project G.2.03: Development of helium isotope applications for water resources management

Coordinated Research Projects

Coordinated Research Projects - In the water resources sector these are developed and supported by the Water Resources Programme. Scientists from developed and developing countries alike are brought together to exchange knowledge enhance research capabilities. Recent examples, include the use isotope techniques to assess submarine groundwater discharge, the characterization of pollutant behaviour in the unsaturated zone and the use of isotopes to aid understanding of the effects of long-term exploitation of groundwater.

Technical Cooperation Projects

Technical Cooperation Projects (TC): Capacity Building for Problem Solving - By supporting training, technical expertise and infrastructure development, the IAEA has been working to meet the needs and requests of Member States for capacity building to address their practical problems. Through TC's, IAEA aims to improve the use and application of isotope techniques by national institutions in member states. There are currently 80 water resource projects in Africa, Asia & Pacific, Europe & CIS and Latin America and Caribbean regions which address a variety of issues related to groundwater and surface water resources. Examples include, assessing mitigation options for arsenic pollution of drinking water in Bangladesh, and locating leakages and seepages in dams and reservoirs, augmenting recharge in the arid regions of the Middle East.

2. Nubian Sandstone Aquifer Project

Source:IAEA website

The ‘IAEA/UNDP/GEF Nubian Project’ is ground-breaking, cutting-edge and challenging. Its long-term goal is to establish a rational and equitable management of the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System (NSAS) for sustainable socio-economic development and the protection of biodiversity and land resources. NSAS is the world’s largest ‘fossil’ water aquifer system. Lying beneath the four African countries of Chad, Egypt, Libyan Arab Jamahariya (Libya), and Sudan, it covers some two million sq km.

Project partners include UNDP/GEF, IAEA, UNESCO and the four NSAS countries.


See also

External Resources


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